The ABCs of the Fourth of July: America, Bulgari, Cher (and Houston)

What do America, Bulgari, Cher (and Houston) have in common?

Well, since you asked: BULGARI launched an AMERICA-inspired collection of jewelry in the 1970s called “Stars and Stripes” — which was modeled by CHER. And pieces from that line are in HOUSTON for Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces, now showing at HMNS!

VERSIONE AGGIORNATA 24 FEBBRAIO-emai)I’ve been geeking out about this since I first found out that: (1) this line of jewelry existed, (2) Cher wore it (flawlessly, I might add), (3) you can get within about six inches of it at the Museum (albeit through the case, but still, this is likely the closest I’ll get to seeing something she wore).

I was therefore inspired to write a song in honor of the collection (well, OK, I wrote new words to the tune of “The Star Spangled Banner)*


Oh, say can you see through display cases’ light
What so proudly we hail, Bulgari gems-a-gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars set in earrings of gold
Made for their New York store but something was missing.
And then came our Cher, with her flawless, big hair
Gave face in her pics. Red, white, blue everywhere.
Oh, say does that Star Spangled Collection yet exist?
You’ll find it in Houston,  it’s not to be missed!


*BONUS: Sing along with Cher as she sings “The Star Spangled Banner!”

Don’t miss Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces now at the Houston Museum of Natural Science!


The bold and the beautiful: Glitz and glam galore adorn HMNS at the Bulgari gala

Traveling from all over the globe, top Bulgari executives joined local Museum and jewelry enthusiasts for a night celebrating gorgeous gems in our dazzling city – the opening gala for Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. 

The night began in the 3rd floor exhibition space (now open to the public; click here for tickets), featuring 150 pieces of sparkling Bulgari necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and minaudière, including precious pieces from the Elizabeth Taylor Heritage Collection.  J. Ben Bourgeois Productions transformed Herzstein Hall into in a graceful garden space with scenes of the Spanish Steps, floral chandeliers, and elegant candlelight. City Kitchen Catering pleased the palate with a three-course dinner, featuring jumbo lump crab meat, saddle of lamb, and mascarpone strawberries. In an ethereal ivory floral headpiece, Elizaveta (you may recognize her from this Scandal promo) led a trio for a set that perfectly complemented the romantic elegance of the evening. 

The chairman of the evening, Windi Grimes, joined President Joel Bartsch in welcoming guests and introducing Nicola Bulgari and Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari.  Ever the belle of the ball, Grimes thrilled guests with her own surprise touch – DiVine, a “living vine” that gracefully moved throughout the exhibition and dinner space. It was the cherry on top of the awe-inspiring evening.  

Photography by Priscilla Dickson.

Joel Bartsch and Naomi Watts

Joel Bartsch and Naomi Watts.



Joanne King Herring and Nathalie Diamantis, Bulgari VP of Retail and Wholesale

Joanne King Herring and Bulgari Vice President of Retail and Wholesale Nathalie Diamantis.


DiVine, Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson

DiVine, Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson.


Anne Shepherd and Carson Seeligson

Anne Shepherd and Carson Seeligson.


Pat Breen and Lynn Wyatt

Pat Breen and Lynn Wyatt.


Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Karol Barnhart, and Laurie Morian

Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Karol Barnhart, and Laurie Morian,

Sam and Melinda Stubbs, Sharyn and Jim Weaver

Sam and Melinda Stubbs, Sharyn and Jim Weaver.


Sabina Belli, Bulgari Managing Director, and Naomi Watts

Bulgari Managing Director Sabina Belli and Naomi Watts.


Greggory and Patrick Burk, HMNS Chairman of the Board

Greggory Burk and HMNS Chairman of the Board Patrick Burk.


Ashley Menzies and Claire Thielke

Ashley Menzies and Claire Thielke.


Event Chairman Windi Grimes and Joel Bartsch, HMNS President

Event Chairman Windi Grimes and HMNS President Joel Bartsch.

All that glitters is … Bulgari! Jeweler to the stars sparkles at HMNS starting May 2

HMNS is proud to partner with Bulgari to present Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces, opening Friday, May 2.

Founded in Rome in 1884, Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari set the stage for Bulgari to become a permanent emblem of Italian excellence. With passionate skill and vision, ceaseless creativity, innovation, and a bold, pioneering spirit, the name Bulgari has been elevated to legendary status.

imageBulgari established the Italian school of jewelry design, based on ancient Roman models. This stood in stark contrast to the Parisian high fashion jewelry of the late 19th century. Where the Parisian model demanded fragility, the Italian school celebrated glorious weight and volume. Where the Parisian model demanded purity and intrinsic value in stones, the Italian school desired aesthetic quality over all else. Where the Parisian model had used a formulaic method for cutting stones, unusually cut stones have been the centerpieces of Bulgari design. 

It was the daring, cutting-edge nature of the company that positioned Bulgari to become the preeminent jewelry house of the 20th century. Its stunning unconventionality attracted attention and devotion from an international audience of adorers, like Diana Vreeland, Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor.

imageb3Now you can explore Bulgari’s history and profound aesthetic through the 150 pieces on exhibit at HMNS, loaned from Bulgari’s archives and private collections. Jewels worn by famous actresses such as Sophia Loren, Keira Knightley and many more are presented, along with design sketches and photographs.

Equal parts art and science, historic and modern — Bulgari not only pays homage to the great masters of the past, but it continuously pushes the envelope of jewelry design and cutting edge technology into the future.

Equal parts art and science, historic and modern; Bulgari pays homage to the great masters of the past, while continuously pushing the envelope of jewelry design and technology. This exhibit brings you the heart of Bulgari — a jewel in the crown of modern glamour.

Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces opens on Friday, May 2 at HMNS. Click here for tickets.

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